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See also: EXIT and èxit



An exit sign (sense 2.1) in a building in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English exit, from Latin exitus (departure, going out; way by which one may go out, egress; (figuratively) conclusion, termination; (figuratively) death; income, revenue), from exeō (to depart, exit; to avoid, evade; (figuratively) to escape; of time: to expire, run out) + -tus (suffix forming action nouns from verbs).[1][2] Exeō is derived from ex- (prefix meaning ‘out, away’) + (to go) (ultimately from ). The English word is cognate with Italian esito, Portuguese êxito, Spanish éxito.[1] Doublet of ejido.

The verb is derived from the noun.[3][4]


exit (plural exits)

  1. An act of going out or going away, or leaving; a departure.
    Synonyms: egress, outgoing
    Antonyms: entrance, entry, ingoing, ingress
    He made his exit at the opportune time.
    • 1740, Samuel Shuckford, “Book XI”, in The Sacred and Prophane History of the World Connected, [], 2nd edition, volume III, London: Printed for H. Knaplock, and J[acob] and R[ichard] Tonson, →OCLC, page 139:
      On the firſt Day of the eleventh Month of the fortieth Year after the Exit from Egypt, Moſes, after he had numbred the People in the Plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, and found that there was not left a Man of thoſe, whom he had almoſt forty Years before numbered in the Wilderneſs of Sinai, ſave Caleb and Joſhua, by the Command of God made a Covenant with the Iſraelites in the Land of Moab, [...]
    • 1762 (first performance), Samuel Foote, The Lyar. A Comedy in Three Acts. [], London: Printed for G. Kearsly, [], published 1764, →OCLC, act I, scene ii, page 12:
      [...] I have purſued you like your ſhadow; I have beſieg'd your door for a glimpſe of your exit and entrance, like a diſtreſſed creditor, who has no arms againſt privilege but perſeverance.
    • 1834, Thomas Moule, W[illiam] Westall, illustrator, “Devonshire. [Dartmouth Castle.]”, in The Landscape Album; or, Great Britain Illustrated: [] Second Series, London: Charles Tilt, [], →OCLC, page 57:
      The entrance of the river Dart into this bay, as well as its exit into the sea, appear from many situations closed up by the sinuosity of the banks, and give it the form of an inland lake, while the rocks on its sides, composed of glossy purple-coloured slate, have their summits fringed with various plants and shrubs.
    • 1838 June 11, “Inquests on the Rioters”, in The Champion and Weekly Herald, volume 2, number 5 (New Series), London: Printed and published by Richard Cobbett, [], →OCLC, column 141:
      Mr. Ogilvie, surgeon, deposed that he, in company with Mr. Andrews, had examined the body of George Catt, and found upon him a gun-shot wound, which had entered the right cheek, passed through the mouth and lower part of the brain, making its exit at the posterior and lower part of the bone on the left side of the head.
    1. (specifically, drama) The action of an actor leaving a scene or the stage.
      • c. 1598–1600 (date written), William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene vii], page 194, column 1:
        All the world's a ſtage, / And all the men and women, meerely Players; / They haue their Exits and their Entrances, / And one man in his time playes many parts, / His Acts being ſeuen ages.
      • 1968, Leon C. Miller, “Blocking the Play”, in How to Direct the High School Play, Chicago, Ill.: The Dramatic Publishing Company, →OCLC, pages 39 and 43:
        Why do directors assume that exits and entrances need not be rehearsed?
  2. A way out.
    1. An opening or passage through which one can go from inside a place (such as a building, a room, or a vehicle) to the outside; an egress.
      Synonyms: outgang, outway
      Antonyms: entrance, entranceway, entry, (archaic, rare) entryway, ingang, ingress, portal
      emergency exit    fire exit
      He was looking for the exit and got lost.
      She stood at the exit of the house looking back and waving at those inside.
      • 1877 February 17, “The Proposed Act for the Security of Theatres in New York”, in The American Architect and Building News, volume II, number 60, Boston, Mass.: Houghton, Osgood & Co. publishers [], →OCLC, page 51, column 2:
        [F]or the audience, a direct exit in front of the proscenium wall is preferable to one through it. It seems to us, in fact, that that exits at this point on both sides ought to be de rigueur; for in the first place, it is important not only that there should be many exits, but that they should be as wisely distributed as possible.
      • 2004, Robert A. McManus, Sean M. O’Toole, “Everyday Security Topics, Procedures, and Operations”, in Kathryn M. Gainey, editor, The Nightclub, Bar and Restaurant Security Handbook, 3rd edition, Swampscott, Mass.: Locksley Publishing, →ISBN, section II.3 (Ejections), page 125:
        Ejecting a Violent Patron [...] If a patron is struggling and floormen can hardly keep him under control, the patron must be brought out the nearest exit so the patron cannot harm himself or other patrons. If both parties involved are struggling, both parties must be taken out the nearest exits, but not the same exit. If both parties are ejected at the same time, through the same exit, the altercation will continue outside the club and your floormen will have to break it up again [...].
    2. (road transport) A minor road (such as a ramp or slip road) which is used to leave a major road (such as an expressway, highway, or motorway).
      • 1972, “Article III—Driving on Right Side of Roadway—Overtaking and Passing—Use of Roadway”, in Traffic Laws Annotated, Washington, D.C.: National Committee on Uniform Laws and Ordinances, →OCLC, § 11-312 (Restricted Access), page 348:
        When signs are erected giving notice thereof, no person shall drive a vehicle onto or from any controlled access highway except at such entrances and exits as have been designated by the department.
      • 2002, “Driving Instructions”, in African Studies Association 45th Annual Meeting: Preliminary Program, [Camden, N.J.: African Studies Association], page 2, column 2:
        From Washington Dulles International, follow the signs to Interstate 66 east to Washington. Follow I-66 to the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge (US Route 50). take the Constitution Ave exit off of the bridge.
  3. (figuratively, often euphemistic) The act of departing from life; death.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:death
    the untimely exit of a respected politician
    • 1711 August 13 (Gregorian calendar), [Joseph Addison; Richard Steele et al.], “THURSDAY, August 2, 1711”, in The Spectator, number 133; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, [], volume II, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, →OCLC, page 199:
      However, there are no ideas strike more forcibly upon our imaginations, than those which are raised from reflections upon the exits of great and excellent men.
    • 1756 September 9, “Thursday, September 9, 1756”, in The World, number 193, London: Printed for R[obert] and J[ames] Dodsley [...] and sold by M. Cooper [...], →OCLC; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The British Essayists; with Prefaces Historical and Biographical, volume XXIX, London: Printed for J[oseph] Johnson, [et al.], 1808, →OCLC, page 200:
      I have contrived a most effectual machine for the easy decapitation for such as chuse that noble and honourable exit; which no doubt must give great satisfaction to all persons of quality, and those who would imitate them.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
  • exits (income, returns, revenue) (historical)
  • issue
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


exit (third-person singular simple present exits, present participle exiting, simple past and past participle exited)

  1. (intransitive) To go out or go away from a place or situation; to depart, to leave.
    Antonyms: arrive, come, enter, ingress
    • 1873, Henry A. Carroll, Romulus: An Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts, Memphis, Tenn.: Partee & Matthews, book and job printers, →OCLC, act I, scene iii, page 13:
      Come, good Remus, our men await us. Let the lion roar and roam to-day; he may be of service; to-morrow, perchance we'll chain him. [Exit Stephano right fourth entrance. Soft music. Remus, exiting, looks hard at Romulus. Exit Remus right fourth entrance.]
    • 1971, Henning Nelms, “Note on Curtain Calls”, in Only an Orphan Girl: A Soul-stirring Drama of Human Trials and Tribulations in Four Acts, New York, N.Y.: Dramatists Play Service, →OCLC, page 59:
      Lucy enters at 11 o'clock and runs to her mother after blowing kiss to audience with both hands. They both exit at 11 o'clock, after Appleby's line. Ethel crosses to her victim at 3 o'clock, winks at him and then looks over her shoulder as she crosses to door at 1 o'clock, where she speaks her line and exits.
    • 1993, Thomas R. Gest, William E. Burkel, Nicholas A. Waanders, “Gluteal Region and Posterior Thigh”, in Review Questions for Gross Anatomy & Embryology, New York, N.Y., Carnforth, Lancashire: Parthenon Publishing Group, →ISBN, page 294, column 2:
      The sciatic nerve exits via the greater sciatic foramen and may in fact be divided by all or part of the piriformis muscle. The pudendal nerve exits via greater sciatic foramen and enters perineum via the lesser sciatic foramen.
    • 2014, Jennifer Serling, “Disease Transmission, Control, and Prevention”, in Paula Pattengale, Terea Sonsthagen, Tasks for the Veterinary Assistant, 3rd edition, Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell, →ISBN, task 5.4 (Isolation Ward Rules and Sanitation), page 116:
      A disinfectant footbath is recommended when exiting from the isolation area. Shoe covers or booties can be placed over shoes prior to entering the isolation ward and disposed of immediately before exiting.
    1. (theater) To leave a scene or depart from a stage.
      Desdemona exits stage left.
  2. (intransitive, often euphemistic) To depart from life; to die.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:die
  3. (transitive, intransitive, computing) To end or terminate (a program, subroutine, etc.)
    • 1990, Guy L[ewis] Steele Jr. et al., “Control Structure”, in Common Lisp: The Language, 2nd edition, [Bedford, Mass.]: Digital Press, →ISBN, section 7.11 (Dynamic Non-local Exits), page 187:
      Common Lisp provides a facility for exiting from a complex process in a non-local, dynamically scoped manner.
    • 1995, Roland Hughes, “Tricks You Should Already Have”, in Zinc It!: Interfacing Third Party Libraries with Crossplatform GUI’s, Evanston, Ill.: John Gordon Burke Publisher, →ISBN, section 3.5 (exit_program() Function), page 3-6:
      Every ZAF program needs to call a routine like this to exit the application. Just put it in your library and be done with it.
  4. (transitive, originally US, also figuratively) To depart from or leave (a place or situation).
    Antonym: enter
    • 1970 January 6, Morris Edward Lasker, United States District Judge, United States of America -v- James Armiento and Edward Jernek, Defendants [Opinion of the Court] (no. 36451), [New York, N.Y.]: United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; reprinted in Edward Jernek, Petitioner, against United States of America, Respondent: Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (docket no. 34984), South River, N.J., New York, N.Y.: Lutz Appellate Printers, 17 June 1971, appendix B, footnote c, page 20a:
      At approximately 10:35 a.m. said John Doe exited 110 East 36th Street without the brown paper bag. [...] On four occasions, said John Doe was observed exiting 110 East 36th Street and observed on two occasions entering apartment actually marked 71, but meaning apartment 710 on seventh floor of 150 East 35th Street.
    • 1995 August, Poverty’s Revolving Door (Bureau of the Census Statistical Brief; SB/95-20), [Washington, D.C.]: Bureau of the Census, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, →OCLC, page 1, column 2:
      More than one-quarter (26 per cent) poor in 1991 exited poverty in 1992.
    • 2002, John Hawkey, “The Importance of Time and Timing”, in Exit Strategy Planning: Grooming Your Business for Sale or Succession, Aldershot, Hampshire, Burlington, Vt.: Gower Publishing, →ISBN, page 3:
      Many owners of private businesses will make the decision to exit their businesses because they have reached natural retirement age, or because they are ill, or because they have decided for personal reasons that they have just had enough.
    • 2011, Dot Goulding, “Breaking the Cycle: Addressing Cultural Difference in Rehabilitation Programmes”, in Rosemary Sheehan, Gill McIvor, Chris Trotter, editors, Working with Women Offenders in the Community, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, New York, N.Y.: Willan Publishing, →ISBN, page 173:
      [C]ommunity-based programmes for women exiting prison work most effectively when cultural issues are a primary consideration and relationships of trust are already established.
    • 2023 November 15, Prof. Jim Wild, “This train was delayed because of bad weather in space”, in RAIL, number 996, page 30:
      These geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) can become a hazard when they flow through conducting infrastructure, usually entering and exiting networks where equipment is grounded to Earth.
    1. (transitive, specifically) To alight or disembark from a vehicle.
      • 1994, William F. Roemer, Jr., Mob Power Plays: The Mob Attempts Control of Congress, Casinos and Baseball: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: S.P.I. Books, Shapolsky Publishers, →ISBN, page 159:
        When Walsh exited the "Q" train, he walked three blocks underground on the concourse which took him into the World Trade Center, the twin towers which highlight the skyline of lower Manhattan.
  5. (bridge, intransitive) To give up the lead.
    • 2014, D. K. Acharya, Standard Methods of Contract Bridge Complete, page 173:
      West now plays a low club to the J and Q. North exits in a trump.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from Latin exit, the third-person singular present active indicative of exeō (to depart, exit; to avoid, evade; (figuratively) to escape; of time: to expire, run out);[4][5] see further at etymology 1 above.



  1. (intransitive, drama, also figuratively) Used as a stage direction for an actor: to leave the scene or stage.
    Synonym: exeat
    • c. 1590 (date written), [John Lyly], Mother Bombie. [], 2nd edition, London: [] Thomas Creede, for Cuthbert Burby, published 1598, →OCLC, Act III, scene iv, signature [E4], verso:
      I take no mony, but good vvords, raile not if I tell true, if I do not reuenge. Farevvell. Exit Bom[bie].
    • c. 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Winters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene iii], page 288, column 2:
      A ſauage clamor? / Well may I get a-boord: This is the Chace, / I am gone for euer. / Exit purſued by a Beare.
    • 1810 July, Frederic Reynolds, “The Free Knights; or The Edict of Charlemagne. A Drama, in Three Acts, Interspersed with Music; as Performed at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden.”, in The Jersey Magazine; or Monthly Recorder, volume II, number 7, Jersey: Printed and published by J. Stead, →OCLC, act I, scene iii, page 325, column 1:
      Agnes exit rapidly, and Ravenſburg is partly perſuaded, and partly forced off, by the Prince Palatine. END OF ACT I.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Compare “exit, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2015.
  2. ^ exit, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ exit, v.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 exit, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  5. ^ exit, v.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2015.

Further reading[edit]



From exeō (exit, go out), from ē (out) + (go).



  1. third-person singular present active indicative of exeō

Related terms[edit]


  • English: exit (used as a stage direction for an actor: to leave the scene or stage)